The Doctor, The Terminator, The Panic, and The MacGuffin

This entry is part 76 of 100 in the series Today's Tidbits

The first thing I noted this morning as I scrolled through the first screen or so of my Facebook feed was the plethora of Doctor Who posts.

I mean, I have a lot of friends who are fans of the good Doctor, so I regularly see a few posts mentioning him every day. But this was more like a full-on Doctor totem pole with multiple posts from multiple people all stacked up. And it wasn’t a FB aggregation thing either–the posts were all reasonably recent and not always immediately adjacent to one another on the feed.

It was a little odd.

Following in the time travel vein, it seems Arnold just wrapped his part in the new Terminator film. The new Terminator film that’s kind of sort of rebooting the franchise to set up a new trilogy. Which they can, technically do. Because time travel. I have my doubts it’ll really be worth it. The movies have been really down hill since Terminator 2 with the all too brief bright spot of the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV show being the only thing that really illustrated any actual skill or talent in using the concepts properly.

But, hey, here’s hoping I’m wrong. I do kind of dig the whole Terminator timeline, definitely one of my favorite post-apocalyptic futures.

And speaking of the apocalypse, yeah, there are two people with Ebola in the U.S. Unlike some loud people out there, I’m not particularly worried. Since, y’know, we brought them here on purpose so we can better understand this new strain of the disease. That means they’re being taken care of in facility that’s made to deal with containment and safety. Unlike where these two infected medical professionals picked up their infection. If the treatment they’re experimenting with and the data that they collect works/helps, then maybe we’ll be able to do something about that big breakout in Africa that’s a real thing to worry about.

I have no witty transition for the MacGuffin angle other than to say that a proper cure for something like Ebola wouldn’t make a good one. MacGuffins are, by their very nature amorphous and, ultimately, impotent or inert in and of themselves. Any power they have is distinctly bestowed up them by the people who, for whatever reason, will do anything to get their hands on them (or, in some cases, destroy them). That’s why I was particularly cheesed off by the article in the feed that bitched and moaned about all the MacGuffins being used by Marvel in their Cinematic Universe.

That critic obviously wasn’t paying any attention. Every object that’s come up in a Marvel movie–be it the tesseract/cube from Captain America and the Avengers or the orb/stone from Guardians of the Galaxy or the… goo… from the second Thor movie–has distinct intrinsic power that, in the wrong hands, is shown to be exceptionally dangerous.

That’s not a MacGuffin. That’s not a mere plot device. That’s a full-on plot point. A key thing that, aside from just driving the movie it’s in is also driving the overall meta-plot that spans the multiple movies. Those are genuinely (in the context of the films’ universe) important things.

Not just things with assumed importance.

Like film critics.

Anyway, read it for yourself in the feed…

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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